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Oconee National Forest Buck 22 Inches Wide

Tony Jones first spot was taken, so he went to Plan B.

Brad Gill | November 7, 2019

A head-turner of a buck was taken from Oconee National Forest on Saturday, Nov. 2 by Tony Jones, of Locust Grove. Although an estimated gross score isn’t known, arguably the most impressive feature of the Jasper County buck is its 22-inch inside spread.

“I really appreciate everyone from GON for helping me get this recognized. This is definitely the best buck for me so far,” said Tony.

Tony, who has hunted ONF for 10 years, said a hunting area near a powerline was where he wanted to hunt that morning, but somebody had already beat him there. Being a good public-land hunter, Tony had plenty of other places to try.

“I knew there were a bunch of scrapes in the area (I ended up hunting) from being in there a couple of weeks earlier,” said Tony.

Here’s where the deer fell after Tony dropped it with his Savage .308 rifle.

Tony hunts from a ground blind, and it was after daylight when he arrived in an area of hardwoods surrounded by bedding thickets. He got his blind set up and had just gotten settled into his chair when he heard a deer walking.

“I take a look out the blind window, and I see the deer walking down the hill from the pine thicket,” said Tony. “I got a good look at him with the binoculars, and I saw one side of his rack, so I knew it was a buck. I grabbed my rifle, and I put the scope on him, and he’s facing me at this time, so I see how wide he is. I immediately get on his shoulder, squeezed the trigger and down he went.

“It took me more time to walk in than to sit there and take the deer.”

Tony was hunting with a Savage .308 that was recently given to him by his father-in-law.

“He wants to pass the gun down to my son, who is only 2 years old now,” said Tony. “My father-in-law actually requested that I take the gun hunting and kill a deer with it, and I was able to do that. It was a pretty special deal to take that caliber of deer with the rifle that was given to me.”

An more in-depth interview with Tony will appear later on the GON Outdoors Podcast.

Tony Jones, of Locust Grove, holds his 2-year-old son Liam and the Oconee National Forest buck he took Saturday, Nov. 2.

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